If you don’t want to give out your main phone number to someone, here’s how to set up temporary phone numbers on iPhone, also known as “burner” phone numbers.
If you frequently sell stuff on Craigslist, you probably just post your main phone number without too much worry, but that leaves you open to receiving a lot of spam calls and text messages from bots that crawl Craigslist looking for phone numbers.
Plus, your main phone number should really only be reserved for people that you know or can trust. For instance, I only give out my main phone number to friends and family. Everyone else will receive my burner phone number, including any contractors or repairmen that we need to call and communicate with.
There are a couple of ways you could set up temporary phone numbers, with perhaps the best way being the Burner app for iPhone, which allows you to create temporary numbers to use for anything you’d like.
Burner has been around for a few years now, but the app recently updated with Premium burner phone numbers that you can keep for as long as you’d like, as well as the ability to connect your burner number to a number of different apps like Dropbox and Evernote.
In any case, here’s how to set up temporary phone numbers on iPhone.
Temporary Phone Numbers with Burner
The Burner app is a popular option for creating temporary phone numbers and it’s really easy to set up.
After you download the app, open it up and sign up for an account. All you have to do is enter in the country you live in and your main phone number of your iPhone that you downloaded the app to. From there, you’ll be good to go.
The app guides you through the process of creating a temporary phone number, and it’s really easy and straightforward to do. Essentially, though, you’ll enter in an area code of your choice and the app will then create a phone number for you.
You can give the phone number a specific name (like Craigslist, if you’re using the number for Craigslist). This temporary phone number will expire in seven days, giving you plenty of time if you only need it temporarily.
Furthermore, you can only get 40 texts and 20 minutes per phone number, but you can buy more credits or spring for an unlimited plan within the Burner app for $4.99 per month.
After you create your number, you can make a call or start a text message conversation right from the Burner app, and when you receive a call or text, the app will notify you, but be aware that all calls and texts are made within the Burner app and not using the stock Phone and Messages app on your iPhone, which is probably a good idea so that you’re not mixing business with pleasure.
Create a Secondary Number with Google Voice
While Burner’s unlimited plan allows you to keep a phone number for as long as you’d like, there’s a free method for creating a secondary phone number, and it’s called Google Voice.
We’ve talked about Google Voice in the past, as it makes a great alternative to your carrier’s crappy voicemail service, but you can also have a secondary phone number with Google Voice without paying a penny.
If you already have a Google account, you can easily sign up for Google Voice by going to the Google Voice website and logging in with your Google account.
Click on I want a new number and then enter in a forwarding number, which will be your main phone number. Go through the provided steps to verify the forwarding number.
After that you can search for an available Google Voice number. You can search by area code, zip code, or word/phrase, then see the options that you can choose from. The nice thing about Google Voice is that you can pick your own phone number, as opposed to Burner.
After you create your Google Voice number, you can use it to make and receive calls, as well as send and receive text messages. The only downsides are that text messaging doesn’t support MMS, and the Google Voice app on the iPhone isn’t really all that great.
However, you now have a secondary phone number that doesn’t expire, and it’s completely free.